The Texas Senate passed a Republican-backed voting bill after Democratic House members fled the state in order to block a final House vote.
Senators voted 18-4 along party lines to approve the legislation. Eight Senate Democrats announced that they too had fled to Washington, D.C., on Monday, with a ninth expected to arrive Monday evening. However, with 22 out of 31 members present, the Senate kept a quorum and was able to pass the measure.
“This bill is about making it both easy to vote and harder to cheat,” Republican state senator Bryan Hughes, who authored the bill, told reporters. Hughes said criticism of the bill stemmed from a “horrible, misleading, false national debate coming out of Washington.”
State Democrats have accused Republicans of attempting to suppress voting rights.